Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | October 29, 2010

The Long Winter Ahead: Filling the Void Softball Leaves Behind

My softball season appears to be just about over for good.

I mentioned a week or so ago that my fall ball team—the Face Melters—had been eliminated from the playoffs.

Despite my initial state of utter disappointment with the loss (I’ve since coped and moved on), I was still able to hold onto the fact that I could play softball on Sundays for at least a few more weeks, heck, maybe even a good month.

Every Sunday for the better part of the past three months, I’ve trundled my way up to North Cambridge to play a game of pickup softball with one of the more eclectic crowds of softballers I’ve ever encountered.

There are guys who are in the 60s (or older) and guys who may or may not still be in high school. There are guys with physical disabilities and guys with mental disabilities (read: they’re really just hypercompetitive asshats, but I’d consider it a mental disability).

It’s a crazy mix of people, but it’s usually a pretty good time. Not the most fun pickup league I play in—that honor goes to Ronnie Broadfoot’s Saturday Morning Softball—but still a pretty good time if you love playing ball.

Unfortunately, last Sunday it was cold and rainy, two conditions which do not lend themselves to good softball and I stayed home. I don’t know if anyone else showed up, but I can’t imagine why they would when it was rainy and in the 50s.

The forecast for this week has the weather clocked in at roughly 50 degrees for game time. For anyone who has never played softball in the cold weather, let me make this short and sweet by saying that it’s no fun to hit a ball with a metal bat in the cold.

In fact, it downright sucks.

It stings your hands like a sumbitch and if you’re smart you don’t want to use any sort of “nice” or “pricey” bat in the cold, because there’s a really good chance you’ll destroy it.

With the weather beginning its autumn plummet it is entirely possible that I have played my last game of softball for the year. That disappoints me a whole bunch. Obviously I love playing softball and I was blessed to stumble into so many games this year.

In previous years, my season has come to an end in late July or early August when my summer team, the Bibliotechs, finally call it a year. Last year, we formed the Face Melters. This year I found two pickup games for most of the summer and into the fall and subbed for a couple of other teams throughout the summer and fall.

It was awesome.

The question I have now is…what the hell do I do with all this free time?!

Sure, sure…I could use it to start writing again or something else that’s constructive, but I need something physical to pass the time. I feel like playing softball two or three days a week for the better part of the last four or five months has played a big part in helping me get back into pretty good shape.

I’d really rather not lose that and start all over again in the spring, so I’ve started coming up with some options.

The first option is a simple one. I’ll go in and get a gym membership again. I figure a six-month membership should carry me through into the spring when softball starts up again, so that’s pretty much perfect.

The problem is finding some sort of real motivation to get me to actually go to the gym. I did great for awhile in my last tenure with the gym, but fell apart and eventually quit going altogether.

One thing I’m contemplating is signing up for the Tough Mudder. I realize it’s a little—um—“bat-shit crazy” and whatnot and there’s a pretty hefty chance that I’ll die somewhere in the obstacle course, but it’d sure as hell give me motivation to get my ass to the gym all winter long.

I mean seriously, there’s no way I wanna show up to the Tough Mudder outta shape and basically asking for death, right?!

I’ve been contemplating it for awhile now and I know of at least a couple of peeps who would be willing to sign up on a team with me. So I’m tossing this one out there to you, my Faithful Readers…should I compete in the Tough Mudder?! Why or why not?!

Let’s hear it in the comments…



  1. You’re bound to die sometime soon anyway. I’d much rather it be by doing something physical than, you know, eating three turd sandwiches.

    It’s after 1:30, and I’m not even through with my second page. The minimum is 3. I haven’t said 1/2 of what I want to.



    • You pose a pretty good point here, TPN. I am, in fact, bound to die sometime and dying face down in a pile of empty McRib boxes is less than awesome.

      Additionally, yes…FYL. Library school will undoubtedly be the death of you and that is why YOU should do the Tough Mudder as well. Gotta die sometime, better in the mud than writing a three page paper, right?!


  2. Do it, or I’ll frickin kill you… I need a male battle buddy if I’m going to do this race…


    • There’s the whole thing where I’m pretty sure I’ll die…but I suppose that’s part of the “fun”…right?!

      Although if you’re going to kill me if I don’t…it’s a lose-lose either way, huh?!


  3. Wow, this is freakin amazing! I’ll do this workout with you, although I’m not sure I could do even one of any of them: I’d probably just do the “jump up and yell freedom” part, while you do the rest. (I really thought we were going to get to see under his kilt at the end…)


    • I’m not so sure I could survive one round of the workout, let alone the actual competition. That dude is NUTS…but I like his enthusiasm. I think I’d need to invest in some serious cattle steroids, some human growth hormone and–from the looks of that dude–a lot of cocaine.


  4. I am sorry but you might be a little disappointed, 1: DONT believe the hype, I did the first tough mudder in bear valley, It was 4 miles NOT 7 I Gps’d on my watch along with several others, there were huge line ups, 45 minutes because the obstacle could only hold 1 person at a time, the parking and generally everything about the day was hugely disorganized, I have done several other events like the warrior dash and the spartan race who I may say are hugely more organised and as tough. I later learned they have 2 lawsuits against them by the British Tough Guy Event as they took photos and claimed it was their event and generally stole the whole concept from them. BEWARE $180 for a 4 mile fun run with obstacles is WAY over priced.


  5. GO FOR IT. it’ll Keep you in great shape. I suggest you also do softball/baseball exercises & drills specific to your position, this will Keep you motivated as you’ll know it will hugely improve your game come spring. Keep us posted on that.


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